NSF Career and Track-4 Programs


The NSF Faculty Early-Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

Join the upcoming Tuesday, June 6 (2-3 p.m. CT via Zoom), virtual workshop intended to provide guidance and mentorship to prospective CAREER applicants. View details and register.

Program officers held two NSF-wide webinars about the CAREER program in 2022. Materials from the webinars are available: 

Many questions asked at the webinar are covered in the Frequently Asked Questions for the CAREER program (NSF 22-100)

⇒ The upcoming deadline is July 26, 2023 (fourth Wednesday in July).

  • Eligibility: Proposers must meet all of the following eligibility requirements as of the annual deadline:
    • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF;
    • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
    • Hold at least a 50% tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title);
    • Be untenured; and
    • Have not previously received a CAREER award.
    • A Principal Investigator (PI) may submit only one CAREER proposal per annual competition and may not participate in more than three CAREER competitions.
  • Submission Deadline: July 26, 2023
  • See FAQs for more details about Career Program. (updated 6-24-2022)

Recent South Dakota Recipients of the NSF Career Award

NSF RII Track-4 Program

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows offers the following tracks: RII Track-4:NSF and RII Track-4:@NASA.

While they are similar in achieving the same goals, RII Track-4:NSF is open to a broad community, and RII Track-4:@NASA focuses on PIs from specific institutions of higher education with high enrollments of students from underrepresented populations in STEM (See Section “IV. Eligibility Information” for more details) to collaborate with scientists at NASA’s research centers. PIs who are eligible for both tracks may apply for only one track per competition cycle. The support should contribute to both the PI’s research capacity and to the improvement of their institution’s scientific competitiveness more broadly.

  • RII Track-4:NSF provides support to further develop the individual research potential of early career, non-tenured, and tenured faculty and researchers, including those at the assistant or associate (or equivalent) professor rank through collaborative activities, including extended or periodic visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. Any research topic that is supported by NSF is eligible for consideration (see funding opportunities in the NSF Directorates and Offices listed under the “Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)” section within this solicitation). The fellowship host site may be any academic, governmental, commercial, or non-profit research facility within the United States or its territories including NSF-funded research sites for EPSCoR RII Track-1, EPSCoR RII Track-2, Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology, Engineering Research Center, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Physics Frontier Center, Science and Technology Center, and NSF INCLUDES Alliance.
  • RII Track-4:@NASA provides support to further develop the individual research potential of early career, non-tenured, and tenured faculty and researchers, including those at the assistant or associate (or equivalent) professor rank through collaborative activities, including extended or periodic visits (e.g., one, two, or three-month summer extended visit) to the selected NASA Center.

    This initiative is a joint effort coordinated by NSF EPSCoR and NASA EPSCoR specifically focusing on Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) that primarily serve students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including those from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, those with disabilities, and women. In addition to minority-serving institutions, two-year colleges and Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) are encouraged to submit.

    NSF and NASA aim to recognize efforts to build research capacity and transform the career trajectories of investigators at institutions that are historically under-served and to further enhance their individual research potential through collaborative activities.

    Through this opportunity, RII Track-4:@NASA awardees will receive an additional $60,000 from NASA to support their research at the home institution; this fund is awarded through the NASA EPSCoR, Research Infrastructure Development (RID) cooperative agreements, coordinated through the designated jurisdiction’s director, and should help to build the awardees’ research infrastructure and capacity.

    Fellowship awardees will be able to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations or advance existing knowledge, benefit from access to unique NASA equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions of importance to science and technology. The experiences gained through the fellowships are intended to have lasting impacts that will enhance the Fellows’ research trajectories well beyond the award period. Awardees will have the opportunity to collaborate with NASA Mentors who serve as research collaborators, or technical monitors.

    The NASA EPSCoR office will coordinate the logistical requirements to conduct the visit(s) at NASA sites. Awardees will be able to leverage the expertise gained through working with NASA Engineers/Scientists to build capacity at their home institution. The Fellow and the NASA Engineers/Scientists are encouraged to work together to generate peer-reviewed publications and professional conference presentations sharing their research accomplishments. The fellowship is contingent upon matching the applicant with a NASA Engineer or Scientist.

Submission Deadline: April 11, 2023

NEW: View a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Office Hours

NSF EPSCoR will host multiple office hour sessions where PI’s may meet with program officers to address questions and/or seek clarification. Please submit questions in advance to cwhitley@nsf.gov.

Office Hour Dates — all times at 1 p.m. CST. Register to attend one or more of the sessions. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

  • Thursday, Feb. 2
  • Friday, Feb. 17
  • Thursday, March 2
  • Friday, March 17
  • Thursday, March 30

Award Information

Anticipated Funding Amount Per Track:

  • RII Track-4:NSF: $9,000,000
  • RII Track-4:@NASA: $3,000,000

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

View details on the Track-4 Program.